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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Miles Austin story for us from last week's Bergen Record - Herald News/ via blogger Jim Grossman - thanks Jim!!

Garfield grad taking nothing for granted at training camp

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

By KEITH IDEC
HERALD NEWS





Miles Austin spent Tuesday morning driving from suburban Dallas to San Antonio, where starting today he'll encounter two-a-days and another summer of uncertainty with the Cowboys.

Frankly, the Garfield High School graduate wouldn't want it any other way. The second-year receiver realizes that among its players the acronym NFL really represents "Not For Long," so while he is encouraged by his remarkable rookie season, he knows the descent from postseason hero to unemployed former Cowboy could occur pretty quickly. And Austin has taken that intimidating possibility more to heart now that he has to prove himself to a whole new coaching staff.

Austin: Romo doing fine
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• Miles Austin has a message for Cowboys fans fearful that Tony Romo is forever damaged by his infamous playoff gaffe in Seattle.

• "He was upset when it first happened, but he knew he had to just put it out of his mind," Austin said. "He has definitely put that behind him."

• Romo bobbled the snap on a 19-yard field-goal attempt on Jan. 6, and was dragged down 2 yards shy of the end zone seconds after he failed to give Martin Gramatica an opportunity to make what would've been a go-ahead kick with 1:19 to play. The Cowboys lost 21-20 in unfathomable fashion and Romo seemed inconsolable on the sideline. But according to Austin, the Pro Bowler has looked impressive throughout the offseason and appears poised to make the most of his first full season as a starter.

• "He's a great quarterback," Austin said. "He's ready to lead this team to the championship this year."

-- Keith Idec/Herald News

* * *

Austin will compete with seven receivers for playing time behind starters Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn, both of whom Austin credits for helping him adjust to the enormous competition jump he made from the non-scholarship, Division I-AA level.

"In my mind, I'm last on the list (of receivers)," Austin said. "I go in there thinking that I have to make the best of every offensive rep and every special teams rep. I always think that I'm the worst player there and that just makes me work harder. ... I always feel like I have to prove myself. Even if Bill (Parcells) would've come back, I would've felt like I to show him more than I did last year."

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Austin showed Parcells plenty last season, when he was one of six receivers the Cowboys kept on their 53-man roster.

The former Monmouth University star wasn't ready to contribute on offense, but Parcells surprised even Austin when the former Giants and Jets coach called upon him after dangerous kick returner Tyson Thompson suffered a fractured ankle with nine games left in the regular season. Before becoming Dallas' primary kick returner during a Nov. 12 victory over Arizona, Austin had returned only two kickoffs in games his entire life. A quick study, the athletic Austin finished eighth in the NFL in kickoff return average (26.0) and rewarded Parcells' faith during Dallas' devastating 21-20 loss at Seattle in an NFC Wild Card game.

His 93-yard touchdown return quieted Qwest Field, gave the Cowboys a 17-13 lead late in the third quarter and proved Parcells was on to something when he kept the undrafted Austin over fourth-round pick Skyler Green on final cut-down day four months earlier.

"He did very well as a rookie," Parcells said. "He was a little green when he first started and obviously wasn't used to the level of competition. But I really, personally, think he has a very good future. I think he's very talented. I think he's talented enough to play in the NFL. And I think if he just refines his skills a little bit, he's going to be a top, quality player. He's also very tough. He was a valuable contributor on special teams at the end of last year for us, and I think he'll do that again."

Thompson is healthy, however, so they'll share kick return duties once Wade Phillips opens his first training camp as Cowboys coach. The smaller, shiftier Thompson, a third-year running back, was also averaging 26.0 yards per return before sustaining that season-ending injury.

"He did a great job before he got hurt," Austin said. "With me and him back there, we feel like whoever they kick it to can make something happen."

Austin hopes, too, that he can make something happen as a receiver, despite that he didn't have a single pass thrown his way during the 2006 regular season. If anything, though, he has shown a knack for exploiting opportunities. In addition to his success as a kick returner, he hauled in the only pass thrown to him during his first preseason for a 48-yard touchdown against New Orleans on Aug. 21.

"I would love to have an expanded role because I feel like I can (contribute on offense)," Austin said, "but my role is what they tell me to do. Special teams were a big thing for me last year. If they want me only on special teams, that's what I'm going to do. If they want me only on offense, that's what I'm going to do."

That attitude, Parcells predicts, is what could help Austin replicate the longevity enjoyed by Wayne Chrebet, the first receiver from Garfield that Parcells coached.

"He's a good, hardworking guy, with tremendous physical skill, stamina and the wherewithal to try and do it," Parcells said. "If the right people can see the vision, I think that there's going to be something very good there

3 Comments:

Blogger JMG1mON said...

Your welcome Tony.

11:27 PM, August 02, 2007  
Blogger JMG1mON said...

No problem Tony. Always glad to offer articles.

11:27 PM, August 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is another good article on miles and sam hurd at www.dallascowboys.com, it talks about how those two are filling in for TO and terry glenn, and that they are doing well. good article

12:03 PM, August 03, 2007  

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